October 12th 2004. Yamaha Motor Co. plans to ship more motorcycles from Brazil as part of its global production system review, which positions the South American nation as its supply base for small and midsize motorbikes.

The company has transferred production of the TT-R125 off-road racing motorcycle from Japan to Brazil. This switch is expected to increase Yamaha's motorbike exports from Brazil to the U.S. to 22,000 units in 2004 -- 16,000 TT-R125s and 6,000 units of a 230cc model -- from only 5,000 of the 230cc bikes in 2003.

In the past, Yamaha shipped most of its products sold in the U.S. from Japan, except for some large-displacement models. However, the company aims to increase exports from Brazil because it will enable it to lower production and transportation costs. This year, shipments from Brazil will likely account for more than 10% of Yamaha's motorcycle sales in the U.S.

Yamaha exported a total of 15,500 motorcycles from Brazil to the U.S., Europe and Central and South American countries in 2003. This figure is forecast to triple to 45,000 this year.

Brazil is one of the biggest motorcycle producers in South America. The nation's motorbike production in 2003 came to about 955,000 units, an increase of 10% from 2002.

Source - The Nikkei Business Daily